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Co-written by José Casas and Sandra Fenichel Asher
Friday, April 8 & 15 | 7:00pm
Saturday, April 9 & 16 | 3:00pm & 7:00pm
A Note from the Director
“As soon as I read José and Sandra’s draft of Mariposa/Butterfly, it struck me how much this play had to say not just to our very young audience, but to all of us adults, too. We are all struggling right now to figure out how to get along with our neighbors in an environment that encourages us to dwell on our differences. Too many of us keep to our own yards, working in our own gardens, not appreciating the garden, and the gardener, in the next yard over.
For our characters, a recent migrant from Mexico and his White neighbor, their differences are only overcome through their mutual love of one of nature’s most lovely and magical creatures. Through the life cycle of a mariposa, a butterfly, these two neighbors experience the wonder of new life, and the grief of a near loss. Nature reminds them that the Earth with all its beauty and pain is something they share, and that reminder is enough for them to decide to try harder to be a good neighbor.
There are few plays in theatre for young audiences that speak in equal measure to both an English-speaking and Spanish-speaking audience. I hope this play is the first of many more. It is a wonderful collaboration by two playwrights I deeply admire, José Casas and Sandra Fenichel Asher, and I am honored they entrusted me, Mesner Puppets and Trike’s team with their beautiful story.
I hope our production encourages you and your children to say hello to a neighbor you don’t know well, and to admire their garden.”
Director…. Emily Kohring
Stage Manager/Understudy…. Justin Mackey
Head of Production …. Shannon Miller
Lighting Design…. Elijah DeWitt
Props Design…. Laura Happel
Puppet Design/Instructor…. Mike Horner, Mesner Puppets
Scenic Artist…. Octavio Logo
Scenic Painters…. Addie Griffin; Laiken Montgomery
Costume Design…. Tanner McAlpin
Scenic Design…. Kathryn Cook
Sound Design…. Keefer Roach
Additional Painters…. Students of Tech Theatre Class Spring 2022
Mesner Puppet Executive Director…. Meghann Henry
Tizoc Diaz (Neighbor #1) Tizoc Diaz is an actor currently residing in New York City, He is a graduate of the University of Houston. He is one of the co-founders of TEATRX, a latinX theater company based in Houston. Where he and the TEATRX team produce a yearly short film/short play festival ‘LA VIDA ES CORTOS/LIFE IS SHORTS’ He would like to thank Trike Theatre for the opportunity to step on their stage.
Kylie Groom Stacy (Neighbor #2) is a Trike Theatre Resident Actor/Teaching Artist and is grateful to work for this awesome company! Her previous performance credits include, Trike Theatre’s, A Year With Frog and Toad and Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Other performance credits include Titanic at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Frontier Follies and Hits At The Hollow at Silver Dollar City, Kiss Me, Kate and Into The Woods at Edmond Summerstock. She has 4 rescue dogs named Athena, Tyr, Artemis and Aphrodite (Dede for short). She LOVES Hallmark Christmas movies and also works at Dance By Eliese as a dance instructor and NWA Princess Parties as a performer. She would like to give a shout out to her hubby, Jeb, for putting up with her chaotic energy and hectic schedule.
Na’Tosha De’Von (Butterfly, Puppeteer) A native of Chicago IL, Na’Tosha was raised in Mississippi. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Theatre and Speech Communications from Thee Jackson State University, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Arkansas. Na’Tosha began her career in acting and poetry by way of God’s Design, believing that the purpose of her art is to expose and heal. Through her poetry she has worked with prominent people fighting for social injustices and human rights including: Danny Glover, Ilyasah Shabazz, Myrlie Evers, and Common. Her acting career has lead her to appear in several Walmart commercials, the series ‘Chase the Lion’ on the TBN televison network, and other film and television projects scheduled for release 2021. Na’Tosha has worked extensively with several theatre companies both Regional and Non-Regional across the nation, focusing on both classical and non-classical text. While working on her poerty, Na’Tosha is a casting assistant for Actors Casting Agency (ACA) in Arkansas. She has been a published poet for years, with her works in many notable literary sites including Literary Sanctuary. With her art, Na’Tosha desires to inspire and mentor younger artist who hold similar backgrounds to her. She wants to instill in young artist that with hard work and creativity, anything is possible.
Emily Kohring (Director) is a theatre director, teaching artist, and arts administrator based in St. Louis. She is currently the Executive Director of Bread and Roses Missouri, an organization that celebrates the arts in the lives of workers and their families. She spent nine seasons as Education Director and Artistic Associate at Metro Theater Company in St. Louis. She has also held leadership positions at Artscope St. Louis and the Montana Arts Council, where she was the Director of Arts Education in her beloved home state. As a theatre producer, director and dramaturg she specializes in the development of new plays, and she has directed productions and staged readings at Metro Theater Company, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, First Stage Children’s Theatre in Milwaukee, Stage One in Louisville, the Bonderman National Youth Playwrighting Symposium at Indiana Repertory Theatre, and New Plays for Young Audiences at New York University. She received her MFA in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University.
José Casas (Co-author) is a playwright and Assistant Professor who heads the Playwriting Minor in the Department of Theatre & Drama at the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild as well as a Board Member of Children’s Theatre Foundation of America. He has a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a MA in Theatre Arts from California State University, Los Angeles, and a MFA in Playwriting from Arizona State. His plays include la rosa grows beyond the wall, all brown all chingon, aDoBe, a million whispers all at once, the vine, la ofrenda and somebody’s children and Flint. His work has been included in a number of anthologies such as The Bully Plays, Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre, and Theatre for Youth II: More Plays With Mature Themes. His published work includes la ofrenda, 14, somebody’s children, and Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences which was awarded the American Alliance of Theatre and Education’s Distinguished Book Award. His plays, la ofrenda and somebody’s children were awarded both the Bonderman National Playwriting Award and the American Alliance of Theatre and Education’s Distinguished Play Award.
Sandra Fenichel Asher (Co-author) Sandra Fenichel Asher’s plays have been produced across the country and abroad. She’s received both the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s Charlotte Chorpenning Playwriting Award and the Sara Spencer Artistic Achievement Award for her lifetime contributions to Theatre for Young Audiences. Three of her plays have been honored with AATE’s Distinguished Play Award: A WOMAN CALLED TRUTH, IN THE GARDEN OF THE SELFISH GIANT, and JESSE AND GRACE: A BEST FRIENDS STORY. Her work has also been included in many anthologies, including TELL YOUR STORY: THE PLAYS AND PLAYWRITING OF SANDRA FENICHEL ASHER. All are published by Dramatic Publishing Company. Sandy has also published books for young readers, including the award-winning TOO MANY FROGS and her latest, CHICKEN STORY TIME, both of which she’s adapted for the stage and seen produced by Trike Theatre, Pollyanna Theater (Austin, TX), The Open Eye Theater (Margaretville, NY), The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (NC), and Eastern Michigan University, among others. Sandy joined fellow playwright Jose Casas to develop MARIPOSA/BUTTERFLY as part of New York University’s New Plays for Young Audiences series. The play, along with more than two dozen others by a wide variety of companies, is featured on American Theatre for the Very Young: A Digital Festival, a webpage for theatre professionals, educators, and students that Sandy founded and co-chairs with Dr. John Newman of Utah Valley University, a frequent collaborator. Sandy is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She often serves as a workshop leader, mentor, and playwriting contest adjudicator. Sandy lives in Lancaster, PA, with her husband Harvey, their dog Gracie and cat Friday. For more information, visit Sandy’s Website
After the Show
Car Ride Questions
- In Mariposa / Butterfly, one neighbor planted flowers and the other neighbor planted vegetables. What would you plant in your garden? Why?
- Who are your neighbors and what are they like? How could you show them kindness or get to know them better?
- The butterfly, like one neighbor, came from a far away place to a new home. What do you think it feels like to move far away? What things would be sad or difficult about moving far away? What things would be fun or exciting?
- In the play, the neighbors learned to let go of the butterfly. Have you ever had to say “goodbye” to a person, place, or thing that you loved? How did that feel? What are some ways you can keep the memory of that special connection in your heart?
To Mesner Puppets and our students, parents and families for supporting Trike Theatre!
LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We gather here today on the ancestral lands that were home to the Quapaw, Caddo, and Osage people. We acknowledge and show respect to these indigenous people that occupied this land in the past, in the present, and those who will occupy them in the future. We acknowledge the ties these tribes had with the land in both spirit and with natural resources and hope that what we do here today will honor the legacy that Native people continue to build.
Trike Theatre is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization and a proud Affiliate Artist of Walton Arts Center. Trike Theatre, also known as Tricycle Theatre for Youth, is based in Bentonville and dedicated to enriching and transforming the lives of young people through exceptional theatre experiences.